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Johanna Bergman Lodin

Johanna Bergman Lodin
PhD in Social and Economic Geography. Researcher at the Division of Rural Development at the Department of Urban and Rural Development and vice dean for gender equality and equal opportunities at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences.


I hold a doctoral degree in Social and Economic Geography (April 2012) from Lund University, with specializations in development geography and feminist geography. Since October 2013, I work at the Division of Rural Development at the Department of Urban and Rural Development. While I mainly am researching, I also do some teaching. I am also the vice dean for gender equality and equal opportunities at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (NJ).


I am teaching in e.g. the "Rurality, Livelihoods and Gender" master's course, which is also the introductory course of the international master's program in "Rural Development and Natural Resource Management". I am also supervising students at different levels.  


My research interests include studying agricultural intensification and commercialization trajectories in Sub-Saharan Africa from a gender perspective, particularly regarding the interface of new agricultural technology, gender-and-generational relations and smallholder wellbeing. I am also very interested in understanding the role of specific places and regions for economic development trajectories and gender relations. 

Currently, I am part of three research projects.

In the EU Horizon 2020 project SteamBioAfrica  (Innovative Large-Scale Production of Affordable Clean Burning Solid Biofuel and Water in Southern Africa: transforming bush encroachment from a problem into a secure and sustainable energy source) (2021-2024) we will convert invasive bush into clean burning biofuel, water and chemicals through superheated steam processing. This way SteamBioAfrica will enable the production and marketing of clean, secure, and affordable energy as well as create jobs related to this new biofuel value chain in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. It addresses multiple challenges facing Southern Africa such as climate change impacts, resource inefficiency, unsustainably produced fuel, smoke- and air pollutant induced disease, unemployment and poverty. The project involves a research group at SLU and collaborate with research groups at other European and African institutions as well as with companies engaged in the biomass and bioenergy sector. Together with Katarina Pettersson and Post Docs Gwen Varley och Mandiedza Parichi, I am leading the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) work.

I am also conducting research in the interdisciplinary project C-Co-Cow (C , co- and cow-benefits and/or trade-offs from livestock grazing in the Miombo – how livestock management matters for livelihoods and carbon sequestration), funded by a Uforsk grant from the Swedish Research Council (2022-2024). Miombo Woodlands are dry ecosystems dominating Tanzania and much of the neighboring countries. Due to demographic pressure and increasing demands for livestock products, grazing pressure in the Miombo is dramatically increasing. Too high grazing pressure reduces natural regeneration of vegetation, restricts soil C sequestration and impedes water infiltration into the soil. In C-Co-Cow we will study soil carbon and water dynamics under different grazing pressure and management regimes in Miombo and the trade-offs and synergies between different production options and ecosystem services. We will develop indicators for soil and rangeland health that will be applicable over large parts of the Miombo biome. This way we aim to better understand grazing and rangeland management in relation to carbon, water and socio-economic dynamics in the Miombo to contribute new scientific knowledge to management and policy processes in the Miombo woodlands. We will combine social, economic and biophysical research with local and traditional knowledge towards sustainably productive Miombo landscapes. The project involves both natural and social scientists from SLU and Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania and is led by Gert Nyberg. Together with Felister Mombo I am leading Work Package 3 to understand livelihood options and choices, connecting the land use studies with gender- and generation sensitive studies of livestock keeping and social relations among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the Miombo.

I am also part of the Formas funded project “Entrepreneurship as empowerment? Gendered opportunities and challanges in entrepreneurial urban and peri-urban agriculture in Rwanda” (2018-2024), led by Katarina Pettersson and carried out in collaboration with PhD candidate Karolin Andersson. (Interview on the project.) This project will develop our understanding of entrepreneurial urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Kigali, and how it is gendered. It will explore how and why women, men and youth engage as entrepreneurs in UPA, which gendered and generational opportunities and challenges they face and how this influences their empowerment. The research will reflect on the policy and practice interventions needed to develop UPA and to integrate it into inclusive urban planning activities. The project thereby addresses the needs to research UPA in its entrepreneurial forms and from a feminist perspective. By considering it as a deliberate accumulation strategy pursued by UPA entrepreneurs, it will also complement, broaden, and challenge dominant understandings of UPA as solely a subsistence strategy pursued by the poor.

Previously, I have carried out an impact assessment of biofortified vitamin A maize in Zambia together with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and their flagship program HarvestPlus. The aim of this project was to explore and explain how the interaction of gender norms, agency and innovation in maize production, processing and marketing shapes development outcomes related to intrahousehold nutrition and health in contexts characterized by widespread malnutrition. The project focused on evolving gender relations in households, communities and maize value chains in light of the recent introduction of vitamin A maize in the country. It was funded by a Sida/Formas mobility grant (2013-2021).

In my post doc project (2012-2013), funded by the IFPRI led CGIAR research program Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), I carried out two case studies in Nigeria as part of the global qualitative comparative research initiative GENNOVATE  (Enabling Gender Equality in Agricultural and Environmental Innovation), that has been initiated by the CGIAR Gender Platform. The purpose was to investigate gender norms and how these affect women’s and men’s ability to access, adopt, adapt and benefit from innovations in agricultural and natural resource management.

My PhD project focused on how the introduction of the high-value NERICA upland rice has impacted smallholder women’s and men’s, girls’ and boys’ wellbeing in Hoima District, Uganda, by examining intra- and extrahousehold production and distribution relations, including decision making processes and divisions of labor. 

Earlier on I have also researched the rice, cassava and groundnut value chains in Uganda, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and their intersection with smallholder wellbeing, as well as smallholders’ food security in Uganda.


I supervise students at both undergraduate and graduate level. 

Currently, I am the co-supervisor of PhD candidate Karolin Andersson in the project “Entrepreneurship as empowerment? Gendered opportunities and challanges in entrepreneurial urban and peri-urban agriculture in Rwanda”, (2018-2024). 

I am also the co-supervisor of PhD candidate Mohamed Mambu Luseni at the Department of Plant Protection Biology.

Previously, I was the co-supervisor of Mesia Ilomo, University of Dar es Salaam Business School, Tanzania, within the Sida-funded capacity building programme Engendering Agribusiness Entrepreneurship (ENGAGE). Mesia graduated in April 2022 with a PhD thesis entitled Transforming Rice Sector and Gender Practices in Rice Farming, Processing and Trading in Tanzania.(Interview with Mesia.)


Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development; Division of Rural Development
Telephone: +4618672319
Postal address:
Inst för stad och land, Box 7012
Visiting address: Ulls väg 27, Uppsala